Do you feel anxious before taking a business trip on your own just because you’re a woman? Are you always paranoid about what kind of accommodation your company might have arranged for you in a completely new place? You aren’t the only one to worry about these factors. There are numerous women business travellers who go through the same experience every time they travel for official purposes.
While business travel for women has become comparatively safer in the last few years, there are still a few precautions you might want to take if you’re a woman travelling alone. Don’t let your gender get in the way of travelling the world and discharging your duties. With these smart and handy travel tips, you can make your travel experience both safe and social.
1) Plan ahead and travel light
Sure, it’s not always possible to plan ahead when you’re travelling on work, but if you know your travel dates ahead of time, ensure that you make the arrangements in advance. Research where your meetings will be held and where you’ll stay. Hotels on the outskirts may seem a cheaper option but if you have to take a cab every time you have to go out after dark, you may want to avoid them.
Carrying heavy luggage will weigh and slow you down. Travel light with light handbags or spinner lightweight luggage bags that are easy to carry so that you don’t have to depend on anyone to help you with your luggage.
2) Opt for a female-friendly hotel
Find out all about the place you’re staying in. If your hotel is too far away from the city, you might want to rethink your options and talk to your boss about the location. If you aren’t comfortable staying in your room because it’s on the ground floor or at the end of a dark corridor, be vocal about your issues. Let the concerned person know about your apprehension.
3) Be vigilant about your security
Always keep your hotel door locked. Don’t open the door till you’re completely sure about the person who’s outside. Ensure that your hotel has double-locking doors or consider carrying door jammers for extra protection.
4) Always use GPS when travelling
If you’re renting a car or hiring a cab for the trip, make sure you turn on your GPS as soon as you step inside the vehicle. That way you won’t get lost in an unknown place or struggle with directions on an unfamiliar road.
5) Ask for two room keys
When checking in to your hotel, ask for an extra room key. Keep one in your purse and the other on your person so that even if you fall prey to purse snatching, you can get to your room safely.
6) Avoid wearing heavy jewellery
It’s always better to be safe than sorry in an unfamiliar place. Try to dress as modestly by avoiding wearing heavy jewellery so that you aren’t an object of attention for the snatchers.
7) Keep your phone charged at all times
When you’re out in an unfamiliar place or a different country, keeping in touch with people who can help you in trouble is imperative. That’s why you need to keep your phone charged at all times. Carry a portable power bank in your purse that can come to your rescue at times when you don’t have access to a charger.
8) Avoid befriending strangers
While socializing with the locals of the new place might seem to be exciting, you must know that pickpockets and other criminals love to prey on solo business travellers. So, don’t share too much information with anyone at your first meeting. Never invite a stranger back to your room and if you feel uncomfortable in a conversation, feel free to cut it short.
9) Wear comfortable shoes
Always carry at least two pairs of shoes when travelling for business. You may need your high-heels during office meetings but flats are your friends when you’re on a plane or train to keep you cosy.
10) Avoid binge drinking
It’s normal to feel exhausted after a long day at work and crave for a drink. But don’t let that one drink become ten. Excessive drinking clouds your judgment and weakens your defences. As a solo woman business traveller, you must be vigilant at all times for your safety.
Keep these simple things in mind when you travel alone on business the next time and you’ll be more at ease than before.